Evaluating a Sports Floor’s Performance Properties

Evaluating a Sports Floor’s Performance Properties

To evaluate performance properties of sports and multi-use floors, use the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2772: Standard Specification for Athletic Performance Properties of Indoor Sports Floor Systems. Developed in 2009, it establishes clear standards by setting minimum criteria and categories for use in North America.

ASTM F2772 Categories

Force Reduction- Also known as shock absorption. This property can reduce strain, increase comfort, and lessen fatigue in the lower extremities. Increased shock absorption relates to a safer floor.

Ball Rebound- Pertains primarily to basketball and describes how much energy is returned to a bouncing ball when it comes in contact with the sports floor. It is typically expressed as a percentage. The higher and more uniform the ball rebound, the better playability.

Surface Finish- Should allow an athlete the right balance of slide and grip. A slippery surface can lead to falls and injuries. Too much traction can stop motion abruptly, also causing injury. The right balance depends on the sport.

Vertical Deformation- Measures the temporary depression or “give” made by a downward force such as a jump or fall. Too much “give” can create the risk of injury, while too little could result in immediate injury. Uniformity is also a key consideration to safety. If flooring deformation is uniform, athletes are less likely to be injured.

To meet ASTM F2772 standards, all floors must adhere to vertical deformation, ball bounce and sliding effect criteria. Once achieved, they are divided into five classes of shock absorption ranging from C1 to C5. The performance levels are listed below:

  • Shock Absorption: must be a minimum of 10%
  • Vertical Deformation: must be less than 3.5mm for synthetic floors
  • Ball Bounce: minimum of 90% ball rebound
  • Sliding Effect: value must be between 80-110, and be uniform, not varying more than 4 points from average

Any floor that does not meet these four criteria is not compliant with the current ASTM F2772 Standard for indoor sports and multi-purpose flooring.


True or False


FALSE – High classification means higher shock absorption, but this may not be the best solution for your needs or your athletes.

If you are looking for multi-purpose flooring that you can play sports on and have events with tables and chairs, you must find the best compromise between safety, shock absorption and indentation resistance. In these cases, a floor in class C2 might be the best option.